Chinese-style Steamed Red Snapper 蒸红斑

steamed fish (4)

I haven’t had fish in so long, mostly because it is really expensive and my local supermarket doesn’t sell whole fish – only fillets. As such, I never know if its really salmon when I’m buying, or some sort of other fish that they say is salmon. There’s a big thing going on about Boston restaurants selling fish that is not what they say it is. For example, using basa or some cheaper fish in a tilapia recipe etc.

Anyway, once we headed to Whole Foods on the way home from work, and decided to walk in and see what it was like. One of my friends told me they had whole fish, and I went to check that out. They indeed have whole fish – singular. The only whole fish they had was red snapper, and at $10.99 a pound – wow! A few days later, I went to H-Mart, where there are a ton of whole fish, and red snapper was $2.99 a pound. This is why I shop at H-Mart. The place is awesome, and has a great Asian food court too! I guess Asians are the only people who eat whole fish. Whole fish makes Jas squirmy – something about the eyes. *haha*

This is a simple recipe for fish. Steaming is the most unobtrusive way to deal with fish, and if you have really fresh fish (in fact, you should only buy really fresh fish), this is definitely the way to do it!


  • 1 whole red snapper, scaled and trimmed (mine was about 3/4lb)
  • 6 slices ginger, julienned
  • 2-3 stalks scallions, julienned
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil, shallot oil (or regular cooking oil if you don’t have either of those)
  • [optional] fried garlic or fried shallots

steamed fish (2)

Thoroughly clean the fish under running water, then pat the fish dry. If the gills and innards haven’t been cleaned, just pull them out!

Stuff the cavity of the fish with half of the julienned ginger and scallions.

Lay the other half of the julienned ginger and onions on top of the fish.

steamed fish (1)

Steam the fish for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the meat is flaky.

In a small stockpot, heat the soy sauce and brown sugar until the brown sugar has dissolved, and the soy sauce has thickened slightly.

When the fish is cooked, pour away the liquid from boiling.

Pour the soy sauce mixture over the fish, and add the garlic/shallot oil and [optional] fried garlic or shallots over the fish.


steamed fish (3)


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